Review: True Crime on Tour (Crow’s Theatre presents The Castleton Massive Production)

Photo of Torquil Campbell in True Crime, Crows Theatre, January 2018

Torquil Campbell’s one person show True Crime is on tour and Wednesday night was the opening of a short Toronto run at Streetcar Crowsnest’s Scotiabank Community Theatre. It’s the story of Campbell’s interest in (or obsession with) Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter aka Clark Rockefeller, a conman who’s now in prison in California.

It’s a play about a play, specifically about Campbell making this play; about going to see Gerhartsreiter in prison, or not going to see Gerhartsreiter in prison. The audience doesn’t really know what’s true and what isn’t. It doesn’t matter. It’s about the play and the performance and both were wonderful. Continue reading Review: True Crime on Tour (Crow’s Theatre presents The Castleton Massive Production)

Review: Lear (Groundling Theatre Company)

Photo from LearGrounding Theatre Company gives The Bard’s classic a feminist twist, on stage in Toronto

I literally said “Yowza!” when the volunteer usher handing me my program at the Harbourfront Centre told me that Groundling Theatre Company’s production of Lear is three hours long. However, I’m happy to report that the old adage holds true and time does fly when you’re having fun. When this stunning production ends you are left wanting more.

Continue reading Review: Lear (Groundling Theatre Company)

Review: Or Not To Be (Andrew Batten/Glass Hammer Productions)

Or Not to Be explores the role of a lifetime, on stage at the Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto

Hamlet is a dream role for any actor. Everyone wants to try it at some point in their career, right? But what if it was your last role? Is that how you’d spend the limited time you have left? These are the questions addressed in Or Not to Be, a new play written by Andrew Batten and directed by Julia Haist, on stage now at Red Sandcastle Theatre. Continue reading Review: Or Not To Be (Andrew Batten/Glass Hammer Productions)

Review: Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre)

Photo of Hamlet ensembleTarragon Theatre delivers Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet through a rock n’ roll lens in Toronto

There is something to be said on whether or not the type of music integrated into a show can help reimagine a well-known story. Tarragon Theatre’s Hamlet applies a rock and roll ‘lens’ to a familiar tale.

The results don’t rewrite the book, but when a production’s this good, it’s hard to argue.

Continue reading Review: Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: Mustard (Tarragon)

Anand Rajaram and Sarah Dodd in Mustard, photo by Cylla von TiedemannTarragon Theatre brings the Dora Award-winning Mustard back to the Toronto stage

In Kat Sandler’s bright and offbeat Mustard, now being remounted at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, the titular character isn’t supposed to be there. Yet he persists. Mustard (Anand Rajaram) is Thai’s imaginary friend, confidant, and protector. That’s all well and good, but most imaginary friends aren’t supposed to hang around until you’re 16. Thai (Rebecca Liddiard), however, is both blessed and cursed with a giggly, rambunctious, fully-grown imaginary man with a penchant for scatological humour, because she needs a little extra love. Her father deserted the family, her mother drinks and takes pills to pretend to cope – and, oh, she’s pregnant by her college-age boyfriend.

Mustard has already won Doras for best production and performance (for Anand Rajaram), and it’s easy to see why. It’s got the bones of a typical family drama with an appealing atypical spin. It’s got humour, heart and fantasy — and it’s got just enough dark-edged, brutal danger to spice things up.

Continue reading Review: Mustard (Tarragon)

Review: The Late Henry Moss (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)

Henry MossToronto’s Unit 102 Actor’s Company presents Sam Shepard’s play The Late Henry Moss

There is a certain style of American theatre that has its roots in plays like Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman or David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. I like to call them the “men have feelings, but can only express them through yelling and punching” style of plays. The Late Henry Moss by Sam Shepard fits very comfortably in that style. Continue reading Review: The Late Henry Moss (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)